NoleGameday

Central Florida Series Recap: Walls-To-Walls

Tuesday Final: FSU 7 UCF 2

Wednesday F/11: FSU 5 UCF 4

Florida State took care of business during the week defeating Central Florida in back-to-back nights. The second game gave the Seminoles a little bit of a scare as Tyler Warmoth blew his first save of the season allowing a game leading home run to the Knights. The Seminoles eventually came back as Quincy Nieporte plated a run in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game and Taylor Walls hit a walk-off single in the 11th to give the Seminoles a victory. Florida State cruised to a victory on Tuesday night thanks to five innings of one-hit baseball from the right arm of Jim Voyles. The bullpen, and both Voyles brothers specifically, have been arguably the biggest strength of the season for Florida State, and Coach Mike Martin is expecting all relievers to be available for this weekend against North Carolina State.

Trending Upward 

Taylor Walls 2-9 2RBI 1R

The starting shortstop for the Seminoles did not exactly rip the cover off the baseball this week, but he did deliver the most important hit of the series with his walk-off single in game two. Walls has been more than just the average lead off hitter for Florida State to open the season, he has arguably been their best hitter next to John Sansone. Going forward it will be important for Walls to set the table for this Seminole offense, at the same time he will have ample opportunity to drive in runs as the bottom of the order has been getting on base at a very high clip to start the campaign.

Matt Henderson’s Defense

The second baseman for Florida State seems to be settling down a bit with the glove. He made two outstanding plays in the field on Tuesday night that eventually turned into double plays. The first being a hard liner to his left that he turned into a 4-6-3 double play. The second being a hard hit ball to his right over the second base bag that he snagged, touched the base, and fired to first to complete the double play. Defensively, Henderson has struggled to open the season as he is second on the team in errors (6) in 22 games started. It is also encouraging to see him handle hard hit grounders and line drives as those were the plays that he has most often committed errors thus far. The infield defense, and Henderson’s specifically, have struggled to open up the season but each game that passes each infielder gets more and more comfortable with fielding their position and the hope is at the end of the season they will field the best defensive unit that they have fielded all season long.

The Brothers Voyles

The bullpen story of the season continues to stuff the box score as both Jim and Ed Voyles pitched outstanding in their outings over the Week. Jim threw five innings of one hit baseball in relief of Tyler Holton on Tuesday night, in order to earn the win, and Ed started the game on Wednesday tossing four innings of one run baseball in the “bullpen game” as Coach Mike Martin said. The Voyles brothers have been the best relievers for Florida State thus far and it is very exciting for a Seminole team that did not think they would be relying this heavily on the two brothers. Going forward the Voyles’ should slow down some, but the fastball slider combination that they have going on is deadly when it is working.

Photo Mar 24, 9 23 26 PM

Trending Downward

Jackson Lueck 0-3 

The freshman switch hitter started in place of Darren Miller in right field on Tuesday night and did not take advantage of the playing time as he went hitless in his three at bats. Obviously this is not the worst performance of the year and will not deter Coach Martin from using him in the future, it is a missed opportunity for Lueck to win over the starting right field position as Darren Miller has struggled as of late and Coach Martin started Nick Graganella, in his first career start, in right field on Wednesday. Expect right field to be a whole mix of at-bats for different players as Coach Martin has shown a willingness to both play freshman and have open competition at the right field position.

Tyler Warmoth 3.0IP 1H 1R 1ER 1BB 5K, BS

The closer for the Florida State Seminoles pitched exceptionally well on Wednesday, as per usual, but made one mistake and it cost the team a home run and a blown save for Tyler Warmoth. This is only one bad pitch, and frankly it is the first mistake I have ever seen Warmoth throw, and there is no reason to expect him to struggle going forward because realistically he did not struggle at all on Wednesday night he pitched just as well as he has pitched the entire season. Warmoth is Florida State’s most talented, and nastiest, pitcher coming out of the bullpen and he is expected to see many high leverage situations as we move forward in ACC play. Overall, Warmoth’s standing on the team is not implicated at all and he will continue to be the 9th inning option going forward for Coach Martin.

Cobi Johnson 1.1IP 0H 2R 2ER 2BB 3K

In a very strange occurrence, Cobi Johnson allowed two earned runs without allowing a hit. This can be seen from Johnson’s wildness on the mound. He can get it up there with velocity, sitting 91-93 topping out at 95, with a nasty slider. The unfortunate part about his slider is that sometimes it is too nasty. As his slider goes, so goes Cobi Johnson. When he is on he is nearly unhittable and when he cannot command the slider, you will see a lot of wild pitches and mistakes up high in the zone. There is no question about Johnson’s talent but he will need to consistently locate his slider and command it where he wants it to go. Going forward he is the fifth starter on the team with a chance to jump to be the fourth if he can take advantage of Holton’s struggles.

Florida State hosts North Carolina State this weekend.

Vinnie Cervino
Lead Baseball Writer, Perpetually Pessimistic Sport Fan, Proprietor of My Own Delusions and Fallacies, 80 Grade Takes. Twitter @cervino_vinnie.

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